A team of Carnegie Mellon University chemists led by professor Rongchao Jin have conducted the first site-specific surgery on a nanoparticle. This procedure allows researchers to tailor nanoparticles with absolute precision, creating them for almost any purpose — meaning it will significantly advance nanochemistry.
The surgical technique itself will allow scientists to enhance whichever functional properties of nanoparticles are most useful for a given application. For example, nanoparticles may have catalytic properties or exhibit photoluminescence. Using the technique, these qualities could be magnified for use in almost any field from medicine to manufacturing.
“Nanochemistry is a relatively new field, it’s only about 20 years old. We’ve been racing to catch up to fields like organic chemistry that are more than 100 years old,” Jin told Phys.org. “Organic chemists have been able to tailor the functional groups of molecules for quite some time, like tailoring penicillin for better medical functions, for example. We dreamed that we could do something similar in nanoscience. Developing atomically precise nanoparticles has allowed us to make this dream come true.”